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Whoa. Does this just fit into the stock diff?? I'm reading up on it now and it seems really cool.
Yes. I got lucky and found someone selling a Wavetrac-equipped 3.46 and swapped that into my ZHP. It made an enormous difference. The car doesn't need one since it has pretty wide tires and not much power but it does make things considerably more fun when you want to drive like a dumb dumb. It also makes the car a lot more capable in the winter.

To echo bigglesworth you most likely don't want an M3 diff. You'll need the subframe as well as some other stuff and then you'll have a 3.64 final drive that will make you hate life on the highway. The 3.38 out of an automatic car is probably the perfect diff and, lucky you, you already have that ratio in yours (I think). Once you manual swap it you'll have a ton of fun.
 

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80 Rabbit, 80 Maplebar, 81 Rabbit, 04 ZHP
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Yes. I got lucky and found someone selling a Wavetrac-equipped 3.46 and swapped that into my ZHP. It made an enormous difference. The car doesn't need one since it has pretty wide tires and not much power but it does make things considerably more fun when you want to drive like a dumb dumb. It also makes the car a lot more capable in the winter.

To echo bigglesworth you most likely don't want an M3 diff. You'll need the subframe as well as some other stuff and then you'll have a 3.64 final drive that will make you hate life on the highway. The 3.38 out of an automatic car is probably the perfect diff and, lucky you, you already have that ratio in yours (I think). Once you manual swap it you'll have a ton of fun.
On the roads out here, it’s easy to unload a rear tire mid corner.
 

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Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg
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On the roads out here, it’s easy to unload a rear tire mid corner.
Totally. I was definitely missing having a good LSD on the last rally. I just miss the car points in with throttle, instead I got nose runs out on throttle, on top of the bump hey inside wheel spin.
 

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LSD is on my short list as well. Before I do anything too silly with the motor (like a supercharger) I'm definitely going to be getting a limited slip. If I'm one wheel peeling now, it would almost be no fun with more power.

Another vote for LSD, but not the homerdash kind.
 

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E46 330ci coupe
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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
Holy sh*****t this dashcam install is pathetic. I'll post pictures later but the cliffs notes are:

No headliner dropped. The wires from the front camera basically stuffed hanging on passenger side sun visor, so that when you flip it down, the wires fall. From there it goes (visibly) into the A-pillar cover and apparently DOWN (Why down!!!???) to be run below the door. Seriously. Why are you running wires for cameras mounted above the seats, below the seats?

THEN I noticed that where the wire comes out for back camera is...across the entire C-pillar cover. Yes that's correct. It's not behind the C-pillar cover, it's just hanging in front of the C-Pillar cover. Just like a downed power line.

I don't even know what to say. I was so excited to have a GOOD shop nearby but now I'm questioning the level of mechanical work being done, because this is bad. This is worse than when I installed an amp and sub in my friends Civic in my driveway. I had NO idea what I was doing (given the fact that at the end of the install I realized I didn't hook the amp or sub up to the head unit) but I knew damn well there weren't going to be exposed wires in the f**king cabin. I sat my dumb fat ass there for several hours carefully removing seats, carpet, trim, etc.

I'm going to slowly try to cool off this morning, bring the car to a nearby parking lot and take before pictures. Then I'll do the job properly and text this mechanic pictures. I'm super disappointed because I care SO MUCH about this car and I thought that showed through to him. One would assume if you have a customer that really cares about their ****, you let anyone and everyone working on that car that this is the case and the customer is going to be discerning.

And I lose a day of my vacation doing this, too.
 

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Mechanics usually don’t do aftermarket electronics well. You may be having an similar experience to having a plumber paint a room. Can they do it? Sure. Will they know how to apply primer well? Maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Mechanics usually don’t do aftermarket electronics well. You may be having an similar experience to having a plumber paint a room. Can they do it? Sure. Will they know how to apply primer well? Maybe.
He had a guy come in that does electronics for him. The issue is:

Did the owner of the shop see him do this and think it was ok? Or did the owner of the shop NOT see him do this and didn't inspect it before I picked the car up?

I'm a graphic designer and if you asked me to install a dashcam I wouldn't leave wires hanging off a sun visor. I brought it in because I don't trust myself to hardwire things. That part is done.

The last mile of that job is to hide the wires and perform a clean install. At the very least I'd grab my phone, look up "How to hide wires in E46 BMW" and sit in on YouTube University for 10 mins.

I paid money for a professional install, and you don't have to be anything close to professional to see this guy did a terrible job.
 

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Mechanics usually don’t do aftermarket electronics well. You may be having an similar experience to having a plumber paint a room. Can they do it? Sure. Will they know how to apply primer well? Maybe.
100% this. I'm sorry this went poorly, but I wouldn't let this be the litmus test for them doing solid mechanical work.

I'd take my car to a body shop to have electronics or interior work done before I'd take it to a mechanic.

Working on the interior of a car is a completely difference experience than working on the motor/chassis/transmission. It's one of the reasons mechanics loathe doing HVAC work deep in the dash, they've basically got to disassemble the entire interior from the steering wheel forward. Between all the clips and other fragile interior pieces, it aggravates the hell out of them.
 

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He had a guy come in that does electronics for him. The issue is:

Did the owner of the shop see him do this and think it was ok? Or did the owner of the shop NOT see him do this and didn't inspect it before I picked the car up.

I'm a graphic designer and if you asked me to install a dashcam I wouldn't leave wires hanging off a sun visor. At the very least I'd grab my phone, look up "How to hide wires in E46 BMW" and sit in on YouTube University for 10 mins.
Knowing this, I'd just stop by and be cool and calm and ask the owner what he thinks about it. Chances are he didn't see the end result, and he's probably willing to make it right by you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Knowing this, I'd just stop by and be cool and calm and ask the owner what he thinks about it. Chances are he didn't see the end result, and he's probably willing to make it right by you.
The owner of the shop has a guy who does installs (or did) them for Best Buy, so it's not like some random lube tech is doing them.

So the issue is - I call him back and ask him to find someone ELSE to do it? Honestly I want a partial refund.

We're not talking about some wires peeking out here and there. It's literally like someone jerry rigged a backseat DVD player with HDMI cables hanging out of random spots.
 

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The owner of the shop has a guy who does installs (or did) them for Best Buy, so it's not like some random lube tech is doing them.

So the issue is - I call him back and ask him to find someone ELSE to do it? Honestly I want a partial refund.

We're not talking about some wires peeking out here and there. It's literally like someone jerry rigged a backseat DVD player with HDMI cables hanging out of random spots.
I’d stop by in person and show it to him, don’t do it over the phone.
 

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The owner of the shop has a guy who does installs (or did) them for Best Buy
Here is the problem right here. I wouldn't let a Best Buy tech anywhere near a car. I've never seen anything good result from it. Ever.
 

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Here is the problem right here. I wouldn't let a Best Buy tech anywhere near a car. I've never seen anything good result from it. Ever.
Seriously. Also, not to add to the pain in the ass this has created, but I'd be a bit leery of any hidden electrical work (no matter how basic) done by somebody that signs off on the sort of, er, craftsmanship that you can see.

I agree with the suggestion to show him this in person. A phone call isn't going to cut it, plus dealing with situations like this in person can sometimes work out a bit better. It's harder to be an ******* in person than it is on the phone, basically.
 

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Tim! Idk if you remember me but I owned the white MR2 wayyyyy back in the early 2000's in Rockland. I think we met like once or twice at car club.
I do indeed remember you, those were fun times back then. Your white MR2 was always in the A&P parking lot. I'm Tom (the red MR2 was my car), but my brother is Tim and he often drove it.
 

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I am sorry I am just seeing this thread. Literally just last night I was talking with someone about how a black 330ci with the sport pack was almost my first car way back but my mom wouldn't let me get it. all I needed was an "okay" and perhaps to borrow $1000 or so while I got a loan for the rest. essentially thinking how I probably wouldn't still have it but the car has a soft spot with me and then I see this. I was even in NY at the time too (though Putnam).

Certainly sub'ing so I can see updates on this, car is awesome and I hope you enjoy the project.
 
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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
Gather round, folks. Fix your gaze upon the worst install of any part on this car ever.

Just a caveat - The tint looks awful, I know. It was done over 10 years ago and I recently removed it by myself under a time crunch. Now that I live in a state that doesn't care about window tint I'll have them redone very lightly to clean them all up. Also, the A, B, and C pillar covers were supposed to be replaced during this install:


Automotive design Azure Grey Material property Automotive exterior




Car Mirror Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive design


Love it.

Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood Leg Automotive design


Brand new hardwire kit supplied to this guy. This is how it comes back.

Automotive tire Road surface Rim Asphalt Synthetic rubber


Stairs Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Bumper


"I see no other wires here, great spot for a wire"

Hood Shade Sky Vehicle door Automotive exterior


Definitely use clear packaging tape, and don't even cut it.

Hood Vehicle Building Automotive lighting Automotive tire


Hood Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive lighting Motor vehicle


Automotive lighting Lighting Fixture Automotive exterior Shade



I sent all of these photos to the shop owner and his response was "Probably a job I should've passed on. I'll stick to mechanical work from now on."

Which...not on my car you won't! I re-ran all the wires properly. Replaced the B and C-pillar covers, ordered new A-Pillar covers and...destroyed the passenger side one on install. This has really become an adventure.

I spoke to the shop owner last night and basically said "I want a partial refund for the install. Charge me what you would charge someone to just hook up the hardwire and leave the wires dangling" (because that's essentially what happened). He'll get back to me in the next couple of days with a financial resolution.

I've found another shop that seems a bit more capable that's fairly close-by, but I'm once bitten twice shy at this point. If my car goes to any shop, I'll be setting up check ins with them to make sure things are going the way they should. I'm not unreasonable, but I'm really unwilling to be taken advantage of more than once.
 
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